Before I moved to Toronto, I had always imagined what ‘success’ meant to me.
It was an image of myself, walking across a scramble crossing, holding a coffee.
Four years later, I ended up being in the middle of an intersection, but in a totally different way.
Yonge and Bloor was the epicenter of Open Streets TO, a program that I helped start. The program opens streets to people by closing them to cars.
It’s a really magical thing that happened in our city.
Open Streets programs encourage people to get active without thinking about it, because they can explore their city in a new way.
It also might encourage behaviour on other days, outside of Open Streets. It’s a really transformational thing for the city.
On August 31st, at 11:30am, on the south-east corner I actually had a moment to close my eyes, take it all in, and see what was happening.
There was an African drumming band with a huge crowd drumming around them. There was a woman learning how to long-board. She was around 50 or 60 years old. There were kids running around doing chalk art in the intersection.
I actually witnessed that we had turned the intersection of Yonge and Bloor into a place for people to stop, chat, bike through, or skate through, or perform music in.
Thanks to Aly for sharing her story. Read more about Open Streets TO, and check out the amazing work that Aly does at 8-80 Cities.
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